Bloating is becoming a serious health condition with causes ranging from minor issues like lactose intolerance to severe illnesses like cancer. How can you tell if the bloating is just a nuisance or something very worrisome?
This article will look at the warning signs and symptoms that show you might be dealing with a severe condition.
Warning Signs and Symptoms
Vital signs and symptoms that indicate extreme bloating include:
Weight loss is one of the significant warning signs for serious bloating. If you notice you’ve lost more than a few pounds without changing your feeding diet or exercising regularly, there’s a cause for concern, and this is more so if it’s 10% or more of your body weight.
Tumors that press on the intestines and make you feel full after eating small portions can cause weight loss. It can also result from substances secreted by tumors that suppress your appetite.
Ascites is an abnormal increase of fluid in the pelvis or abdomen. It’s usually caused by liver disease, but you can link 10% of all ascites cases to cancer. The massive amount of fluid can make you feel several months pregnant.
The combination of jaundice and bloating can make your skin yellow, a sign of cancer spreading to the liver. However, it can also occur with milder liver diseases like hepatitis.
Severe abdominal pain
This can occur if you have vomiting and nausea. It could also be a sign of bowel obstruction caused by scar tissue or a tumor pressing on the bowel. You’ll need immediate medical attention for issues like bowel perforation that can be fatal.
Obstructions are painful because the bowel above the blocked area stretches as it fills with digestive juices and food.
Blood in your stool/vaginal bleeding
The presence of blood in your stool or vaginal bleeding in between periods or postmenopausal vaginal bleeding can be all associated with extreme bloating. Fortunately, most causes of these symptoms (fibroids, endometrial atrophy, hemorrhoids, and an irregular menstrual cycle) are not the most serious. However, you should always examine bleeding because it could be a sign of cancer, especially uterine or colon cancer.
The fever that comes with bloating is commonly caused by infection or inflammation. The infection must be removed immediately if there’s an increased white blood cell count, and this is particularly important if the source is pelvic, urinary, or gastrointestinal.
There are different ways to treat extreme bloating. Contact your primary healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment options.